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Ratepayer Protection Act

BILL NO. 34

(as introduced)

5th Session, 61st General Assembly
Nova Scotia
62 Elizabeth II, 2013



Private Member's Bill



Ratepayer Protection Act



Andrew Younger
Dartmouth East



First Reading: April 4, 2013

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

An Act to Protect Nova Scotia
Electricity Ratepayers and Reduce Charges
Passed on to Customers in Electricity Bills

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Ratepayer Protection Act.

2 In this Act,

(a) "Corporation" means Nova Scotia Power Incorporated;

(b) "Minister" means the Minister of Energy;

(c) "Review Board" means the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board;

(d) "security deposit" means any fee required before the initial power consumption contract between the Corporation and a customer.

3 (1) Beginning in the fiscal year 2013-14 and continuing on a biannual basis thereafter, the Review Board shall order and thereupon the Corporation shall furnish to the Review Board an independent savings review of the Corporation to identify potential savings by the Corporation.(2) The independent savings review must include

(a) an assessment of the operations of the Corporation;

(b) an assessment of the Corporation's fiscal management of its revenue and expenses;

(c) a value-for-money assessment examining the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the operations and management of the Corporation; and

(d) such other matters as the Review Board may determine, if the Review Board considers the matters relevant to the assessment of potential savings.

(3) An order made pursuant to subsection (1) may include such terms and conditions as the Review Board considers necessary or advisable.

4 (1) Beginning in fiscal year 2013-14, the Minister shall direct the Corporation to make public an annual report setting out how estimates regarding expenditures and revenues compare with current and actual costs.

(2) The report prepared pursuant to subsection (1) must include

(a) a statement of the financial position of the Corporation;

(b) information comparing results with the business plan for the fiscal year;

(c) five-year projections for all classes of electricity rates, regardless of any pending rate approval at any rate hearing; and

(d) such other statements, supporting schedules and notes considered appropriate by the Minister or the Review Board.

(3) The Minister shall table the report prepared pursuant to subsection (1) in the House of Assembly not later than May 30th following the end of the fiscal year to which the report relates or, where the Assembly is not sitting, file the report with the Clerk of the Assembly.

5 (1) Upon the Corporation making a general rate application and before the hearing of the application, the Corporation shall hold public meetings on the proposed rate increase.

(2) The public meetings pursuant to subsection (1) must be held in the same manner and on the same matters as hearings before the Review Board.

(3) The public meetings held pursuant to subsection (1) must commence no later than thirty days before the scheduled date for the general rate application hearing.

6 (1) Where a rate settlement is reached by all registered intervenors before the holding of the general rate application hearing, the settlement must be discussed at the public meetings convened pursuant to subsection 5(1).

(2) Where a rate settlement is reached by all registered intervenors before the holding of the general rate application, the settlement must be made public and public comment sought.

(3) Where a rate settlement is not reached among all intervenors, Corporation costs associated with a general rate application must be paid from money that would otherwise go to shareholders of the Corporation.

(4) All registered intervenors may participate in the negotiations at the public meetings and any member of the public may observe the discussions and meetings.

7 No costs associated with a general rate application hearing may be included in whole or in part in the general rate.

8 The Corporation may not require customers in the Large Industrial Rate Class - ELI 2P-RTP to provide a security deposit.

9 This Act has effect on and after July 1, 2013.

 


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2013 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created April 4, 2013. Send comments to legc.office@novascotia.ca.